Pick 127 (5th Round)
Plymouth native Ryan Mantha is top prospect for the 2014 NHL Draft. (Michael Caples/MiHockey)
Pick: Ryan Mantha
Height/Weight: 6’5″/225 lbs.
2013-2014 Team: Sioux City Musketeers and Indiana Ice (USHL)
Pick Explanation: The Carolina Hurricanes pick their third defenseman of the NHL Draft with the 127th pick.
Ryan Mantha’s size alone turns heads, but the Clarkston, Michigan native also has the characteristics that you want in a late round pick.
The 18-year-old defenseman has great vision. He also makes a great breakout pass and is able to move and handle the puck very well.
Ryan Mantha’s size and reach makes him very good in his own end defending against the rush. He is very sound and consistent in his own end.
Like Alexis Vanier, Ryan Mantha doesn’t have terrific mobility. He will have to work on his foot speed if he hopes to rise through the ranks and break into the NHL.
Ryan Mantha is set to join the Niagara Ice Dogs in the 2014-2015 season if he decides to join the OHL. If he stays in the USHL, Ryan Mantha will start the year with the Muskegon Lumberjacks.